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How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Cost?

If you have come to the conclusion that hiring a virtual assistant could be a lifesaver for your to-do list, you’re not alone. Many business owners are starting to outsource tasks that aren’t a direct source of income for their business, such as social media management and IT support.

As a first step, you might have googled how much a virtual assistant costs, but the answer varies depending on where you look. Unfortunately, most of the information you find online about the cost of hiring a virtual assistant is confusing and conflicting. In this post, I am going to help you clarify how much a virtual assistant costs by breaking down the different price points for virtual assistant services and what can you expect for each price point.

$2-$10 per hour

You’ve probably seen advertisements online for virtual assistants and social  media managers for around $10 an hour, and even as low as $2 an hour. Services at this price point are usually conducted by virtual assistants in 3rd world countries. Often times the work is cookie-cutter or recycled, and potentially riddled with grammatical errors. There is also the potential of putting your business’s confidential information at risk–including your customers’ information–which can open you up to liabilities. For some businesses this price point works, but be prepared to receive subpar work.

$11-$20 per hour

The next price point you’ll find is $11-$20 per hour. These are typically new virtual assistants who have some office admin work experience and have branched off on their own offering general virtual assistant services as freelancers. These virtual assistants can be a great asset to your business for general admin tasks like calendaring, travel arrangements, email management, and research. You should be prepared to sort through resumes to find your virtual assistant and have written documentation for the tasks you need done. You will also need to provide your virtual assistant with some training on the operations of your business.

$25-$30 per hour

The next price range is between $25-30 an hour. This price range is often associated with virtual assistant agencies. For this price range the agency will pair you with a trained virtual assistant that specializes in the needs of your business. The tasks completed are general admin tasks, social media management, and some low-level technical skills.

$30-$50 per hour

The next range is $30-50 per hour. Virtual Assistants in this price points typically have more technical skill sets such as social media management, building websites, sales funnels, lead generation, managing facebook ads, and other skills that require training or several years of experience. They are great assets to your business, especially if they are able to fill in with expertise that you may lack. More importantly, they can help take major projects off your hands with little guidance. You should be prepared to talk to them about your ideal customer and target audience.

$50 and up

At this price point you’re getting an online business manager or a project manager. Individuals providing this level of service basically take over the day-to-day operations of your business such as managing a team, overseeing launches, and just about every other aspect of your business. They are process and system driven individuals who love who know how to motivate others, and can ensure that all the details of your business are in working order. This is a great option for an entrepreneur who may be ready to take some time away from their business to pursue other endeavors such as launching a second business or working on other innovative solutions to serve their customers.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hiring virtual assistants, but hopefully this can serve as a guideline to anyone ready to take that step for their business. For even more curated informational content like this, check out our YouTube channel where I create videos to help you achieve a life you love and a business that thrives!

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local business, marketing, social media

4 Tips to Help You Market Your Business Locally

When I started my business last year, I was only focused on using social media to get my name out there. Of course, this is a great way to market your business, but it wasn’t until I focused on local marketing that my business started to grow. Here are 4 ways to market your business locally!

1. Reach out to your local Rotary clubs and offer to speak on your subject matter.

In February, I started reaching out to local rotary clubs. In doing so, I booked a speech to talk to almost 100 local business owners about using remote workers and virtual assistants in their business. Of course, this involved preparing a speech, presentation, and practicing, but the opportunity to get my name out there was huge. My advice when reaching out to your local rotary clubs it is to relate your speech to their needs. In my case, a lot of the rotary members own small businesses, and one of the biggest topics in business circles right now is how millennial’s conceptualize work life balance. So my speech covered this and how many millennial’s are seeking to work remotely to achieve a work life balance. I also talked about productivity and the impacts of allowing employees to work from home on small businesses. I am not outright selling my services, but I’m providing them with something valuable that they can use with their own businesses.

2. Join your local chamber. 

If you provide business to business services, your local chamber is a great way to network and promote your business. When I joined my local chamber, they did a couple of things to introduce my business to the community. First there was a ribbon cutting, which serves as a “grand opening” of sorts for new and established businesses. They also do a live Facebook video with you where they interview you and let you talk about your business, which is exciting. The other advantages of joining your local chamber is the many in-person networking opportunities. I admit that in the past I haven’t always taken advantage of networking events, but when I do go I find it to be less awkward than I imagined. This is a case where the best advice is to get dressed and just show up. Make it a point to talk to at least 3 people at each event. I do this by asking them questions about their business, and I only tell them about my business if they ask.

3. Take advantage of word of mouth.

One of the most overlooked methods of promoting yourself locally is telling your family, friends, and personal contacts about your business and your services. When I re-launched earlier this year, I sent an email to my family and friends letting them know what I was doing. I included my portfolio, website, and social media links. I told them what services I offer and what kind of businesses may be a good fit. This was helpful because I’ve received some viable leads from my family and friends. Plus, I know they will continue to help me out by giving my name to anyone they run into in the future that could benefit from my services.  Most of the time your family and friends want to see you succeed.

4. Facebook 

It’s a no-brainer that you should be using social media to promote your business, but Facebook in particular is a great way to promote yourself locally. The reason it is effective at the local level is that people are using Facebook to look businesses up much like they would on google. Think about it: how many times have you looked up a restaurant’s Facebook page and read their reviews? The key is to make sure your page is fully optimized. Ask your customers to leave Facebook reviews. Another way to use Facebook effectively is the live video feature. Schedule live videos about once a week to make sure your content is being seen by your audience.

These tips are a great place to start for anyone looking to grow their following and promote your business locally in 2019. For even more curated informational content, check out our YouTube channel where I create videos to help you achieve a life you love and a business that thrives!

copy, copy-writing, website

How to Use the StoryBrand Script to Resonate with Your Customers

At the start of 2018, I started my business with a website and the drive to be my own boss. Since that time, I’ve gone from growing my own business to coaching and consulting other business owners as they navigate the ins and outs of marketing their brands.

One of the tools that I use regularly has the ability to transform the way you communicate with your customers, and it’s the book “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller. By applying these principles to my own brand, as well as the client websites that we design, I make it easier for clients to understand what’s in it for them!  

1. The Character—Your customer is the hero, so let your brand become the trusted guide or resource. A lot of websites make the company the hero and not the customer. But if you want to resonate with your potential clients, set yourself up as a problem solver! Let’s say you are an at-home baker. You bake birthday cakes for children and deliver them to the location. On your website and social media your tagline is “Fabulous Birthday Cakes.” You’ve done a good job telling your audience you make birthday cakes, but you have not asserted how this benefits the customer. So we have to address the problem you solve for your customer.

2. The Problem—We all have them. But what can you do to solve problems for your customers? Directly tell potential clients what you can do to improve their lives. We are motivated to solve problems that affect us on a personal level, so by speaking to those problems your customers will have an interest in your services. In a nutshell, identify the pain-point and make it clear what problem you solve. For your birthday cake business, you solve a big problem. You save your customers time by delivering the cakes to the birthday location. Most of your customers are busy parents who don’t have time to pick up a cake from a bakery or they simply don’t want to. They’d rather spend that time enjoying their kid and the birthday party. Here is a tagline that tells your audience what you do and what problems you solve. “Don’t lose a second with your kid on their birthday!” or “Let us deliver the cake!” For a secondary tagline “We deliver birthday cakes to your child’s birthday party, so you don’t lose time on their special day.” 

3. The Plan—Next you need to give your customers a clear path to make their decision to work with you as easy as possible. Consider what are the next steps from the customer’s point of view. The most efficient way is to have an online booking and payment option on your website so that busy mom can pick out the cake, pay for it, and schedule the delivery location, date and time with you. Make her life easier!  

4. Call to Action—Give your customers a first step that will help them solve the problem they are facing. Use active language and make them an offer they can’t refuse! This might be a “Book Now” button on your website so that busy mom can easily book your services. 

5. Success—One of the biggest takeaways from the book is to “Never assume that people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them.” You have to tell them and make it easy.

I hope you found this helpful! If you would like more information about the StoryBrand Script or how you can connect on a deeper level with potential clients, head over to our YouTube Channel where I post a variety of content to help you optimize your business operations.

Pick up your own copy of Donald Miller’s book here: https://buildingastorybrand.com/

business, entrepreneurship, facebook ads, Facebook Strategies, save money, social media, social media management

Facebook pixel and why you need it?

What in the world is a Facebook pixel and why should you be using it?

You’re scrolling through Facebook on a Saturday afternoon, and you see an ad for an online retailer. You had just been on that website yesterday, checking out a new pair of work shoes you needed. You weren’t ready to make the purchase just yet, so those shoes are sitting in the shopping cart.

That ad you’re seeing, all due to the Facebook pixel. The Facebook pixel is a code that the online retailer pulled from their Facebook business page and added to their website. It allows them to gain insights on who is visiting their website, so they can optimize their Facebook ads and reach those who are more likely to buy from them.

Guess what. 

You can use this same marketing method for your business.

Often times it takes a customer seeing or hearing about your business several times, before they will commit to making a purchase. Using the Facebook pixel to re-target people who’ve visited your website, allows you to remind that person that they left something in their shopping cart or that you’re still available for that consultation.

What it does.

This process helps you convert more paying customers and improves the ROI of your ad spend. Additionally, Facebook has amazing insights into your audience allowing you to target lookalike audiences based on demographics, likes, and even dislikes. It’s a powerful source of information that ensures your Facebook ads are getting seen by the people who are more likely to buy from you.

But, what if you’re not using Facebook ads. Well, you can install the pixel now so that in the future you have the data to create your first Facebook ad. If you’d like more information on setting the Facebook pixel or ad, you can contact us at bonnie@bonnieandersonconsulting.com or setup a FREE video call here!

5 Tips on how to use Facebook live to promote your business
facebook ads, Facebook Strategies, social media, social media management

How to use Facebook live to promote your business.

If you’re a small business owner, you probably have a Facebook page for your business, because you know social media is a powerful marketing tool. It’s a great way to connect with your existing customers and reach new potential customers.  

But, maybe you’re frustrated because you’ve been making regular postings, but you haven’t been able to grow your audience. You may be surprised to know that the Facebook algorithm may be working against you. Facebook is only showing your post to a small percentage of your audience. You could pay for ads to reach more people, but there is a free option that is effective in growing and connecting with your audience. It’s Facebook live video. Facebook favors live video on it’s platform. Each of your fans will receive a notification that you’ve gone live. This helps you draw them to directly to your page. But, it gets better. Video marketing converts customers at a higher rate than any other form of marketing.

You’re still not convinced, because the thought of going live scares you. I understand, but I want to make the process a little bit easier for you by providing your with a scripting formula. Think of your live video as an opportunity to educate your audience about your business. Frequently asked questions make a great topics for live videos.

Below is a simple scripting formula to help you format your live video and take away some of the scariness.

Step 1 – Introduce yourself

Let your audience know your name, title, and business name. For example, I would say “Hi, my name is Bonnie Anderson. I’m a social media strategist and the owner of Bonnie Anderson Consulting.”

Step 2 – Tell them what they’re going to learn

Begin by telling your viewers what your live video will be about in one sentence. For example, “In this video, I’m going to give you the five steps you need to start using live video on Facebook.”

Step 3 – Tell them why

You want to entice your viewers to stay on until the end of the video. This can be done giving them a reason why. For example, “Make sure you stay until the end, because this information will help you (insert benefit to customer).”  Or, “Make sure you stay until the end, so you know where to purchase our newest product.”

Step 4 – Tell them how by providing sequential steps

Provide your viewers with sequential steps or tips and back it up with two sentences giving details. For example, “The first step to completing a live video is writing a script. Once you’ve written the script, practice a few times in the mirror. This will give you the confidence you need to get on camera.”

List out the sequential steps and support statements until you have at least 5 steps.

Step 5 – Create a call to action

Once you’ve completed the sequential steps, give your viewers a reason to contact you or come to your location. You can relate this to step 3 where you provided them with a reason to stay until the end of the video. You can provide them with a promo code or an invitation to purchase a specific product.

If you’ve found this helpful, let me know by leaving a comment below. If you’re looking for more guidance on using Facebook to promote your small business, contact me at bonnie@bonnieandersonconsulting.com. I’m happy to help.  If you prefer some face time, schedule a FREE video call with me.